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and exhibited in this manner, and by thine own confession judicially made Henry before us, we do find, that thou hast taught, holden, and affirmed, and obstinately defended, divers errors and heresies, and damnable opinions, contrary to the doc
A. D. trine and determination of the holy church, and especially against the reverend
1533. sacrament; and albeit that we, following the example of Christ, 'which would not the death of a sinner, but rather that he should convert and live,' have oftentimes gone about to correct thee, and by all lawful means that we could, and most wholesome admonitions that we did know, to reduce thee again to the true faith, and the unity of the universal catholic church, notwithstanding we have found thee obstinate and stiff-necked, willingly continuing in thy damnable opinions and heresies, and refusing to return again unto the true faith and unity of the holy mother church, and as the child of wickedness and darkness, so to have hardened thy heart, that thou wilt not understand the voice of thy shepherd, who, with a fatherly affection, doth seek after thee, nor wilt be allured with his godly and fatherly admonitions: We therefore, John, the bishop aforesaid, not willing that thou who art wicked, shouldest become more wicked, and infect the Lord's flock with thy heresy, which we are greatly afraid of, do judge thee, and definitively condemn thee, the said John Frith, thy demerits and faults being aggravated through thy damnable obstinacy, as guilty of most detestable heresies, and as an obstinate impenitent sinner, refusing penitently to return to the lap and unity of the holy mother church; and that thou hast been and art, by law, excommunicated, and do pronounce and declare thee to be an excommunicated person: Also we pronounce and declare thee to be a heretic, to be cast out from the church, and left unto the judgment of the secular power, and now presently so do leave thee unto the secular power, and their judgment; most earnestly requiring them, in the bowels of Moderaour Lord Jesus Christ, that this execution and punishment, worthily to be done tion preupon thee, may be so moderated, that the rigour thereof be not too extreme, but none nor yet the gentleness too much mitigated, but that it may be to the salvation shown. of thy soul, to the extirpation, terror, and conversion of heretics, to the unity of the catholic faith, by this our sentence definitive, or final decree, which we here promulgate in this form aforesaid.
livered to the secu
This sentence thus read, the bishop of London directed his letter Frith doto sir Stephen Peacock, mayor of London, and the sheriffs of the same city, for the receiving of the aforesaid John Frith into their lar hands. charge; who, being so delivered over unto them the 4th day of July, in the year aforesaid, was by them carried into Smithfield to be burned. And when he was tied unto the stake, there it sufficiently appeared with what constancy and courage he suffered death; for His conwhen the faggots and fire were put unto him, he willingly embraced death the same; thereby declaring with what uprightness of mind he suffered his death for Christ's sake, and the true doctrine, whereof that day he gave, with his blood, a perfect and firm testimony. The wind made his death somewhat the longer, which bare away the flame from him unto his fellow that was tied to his back: but he had established his mind with such patience, God giving him strength, that even as though he had felt no pain in that long torment, he seemed rather to rejoice for his fellow, than to be careful for himself.
This truly is the power and strength of Christ, striving and vanquishing in his saints; Who sanctify us together with them, and direct us in all things to the glory of his holy name! Amen.
The day before the burning of these worthy men of God, the bishop of London certified king Henry VIII. of his worthy, yea, rather wolfish, proceeding against these men: the tenor whereof hereunder ensueth:
*The Letter of John, Bishop of London, to certify the King of the
Condemnation of John Frith and Andrew Hewet. Unto' the most noble prince and lord in Christ, our lord Henry the eighth, by the grace of God king of England and of France, and lord of Ireland, defender of the faith : John, by the permission of God, bishop of London, with all manner of reverence, honour, and subjection. Whereas we, in a certain business of inquisition of heresy against certain men, John Frith and Andrew Hewet, heretics, have judged and condemned either of them, as obstinate, impenitent, and incorrigible heretics, by our sentence definitive, and have delivered the said John and Andrew unto the honourable man, sir Stephen Peacock, mayor of your city of London, and John Martin, one of your sheriffs of the same city (being personally present with us in judgment, according to the order of the law); and therefore all and singular the premises so by us done, we notify and signify unto your highness, by these presents sealed with our seal.
Dated the third day of July, in the year of our Lord 1533, and in the third year
of our consecration.
Andrew Wewet burned with master Frith. Andrew Hewet, born in Feversham, in the county of Kent, a young man of the age of four and twenty years, was apprentice with one Master Warren, a tailor in Watling-street. And as it happened that he went upon a holy-day into Fleet-street, towards St. Dunstan's, he met with one William Holt, who was foreman with the king's tailor, at that present called Master Malte; and being suspected by the same Holt, who was a dissembling wretch, to be one that favoured the gospel, after a little talk had with him, he went into an honest house about Fleet-bridge, which was a bookseller's house. Then Holt, thinking he had found good occasion to show forth some fruit of his wickedness, sent for certain officers, and searched the house, and finding the same Andrew, apprehended him, and carried him to the bishop's house, where he was cast into irons ; and being there a good space, by the means of a certain honest man, he had a file conveyed unto him, wherewith he filed off his irons, and when he spied his time, he got out of the gate. But being a man unskilful to hide himself, for lack of good acquaintance, he went into Smithfield, and there met with one Withers, who was a hypocrite, as Holt was. This Withers, understanding how he had escaped, and that he knew not whither to go, pretending a fair countenance unto him, willed him to go with him, promising that he should be provided for ; and so kept him in the country where he had to do, from Low-Sunday till Whitsuntide, and then brought him to London, to the house of one John Chapman in Hosier-lane beside Smithfield, and there left him for the space of two days.
Then he came to the said Chapman's house again, and brought Holt with him. And when they met with the said Andrew, they seemed as though they meant to do him very much good; and Holt, for his part, said that if he should bring any man in trouble (as the voice was that he had done the said Andrew), it were pity but that the earth should open and swallow him up: insomuch that they
(1) See Edition 1563, p. 505 ; where it is also given in Latin.-ED.
wards, with his wife, burned in York.
bauld five times in
in the stocks,
would needs sup there that night, and prepared meat of their own
A.D. out by others. When they had supped, they went their way, and 1533. Holt took out of his purse two groats, and gave them to the said Andrew, and embraced him in his arms. As they were gone out, there came in one John Tibauld, who was banished from his own John Tihouse by an injunction, for he had been four times in prison for Christ's cause. And within an hour after that Holt and Withers bands for were gone, the bishop's chancellor, and one called sergeant Weaver, came, and brought with them the watch, and searched the house, where they found the said John Chapman and the beforenamed Andrew, and John Tibauld, whom they bound with ropes which Hewet sergeant Weaver had brought with him, and so carried them to the again bishop's house : but Andrew Hewet they sent unto the Lollards’ tower, and kept Chapman and Tibauld asunder, watched by two priests' servants. The next day bishop Stokesley came from Fulham, and after they were examined with a few threatening words, Chapman Chapman was committed to the stocks, with this threat, that he should tell another tale, or else he should sit there till his heels did drop off, &c. : and Tibauld was shut up in a close chamber ; but, by God's provision, he was well delivered out of prison, albeit he could not enjoy his house and land because of the bishop's injunction, but was fain to sell all that he had in Essex; for the tenor of his injunction was, that he should not come within seven miles of his own house. And Tibauld the aforesaid Chapman, after five weeks' imprisonment (whereof three porno weeks he sat in the stocks), by much suit made unto the lord chan- within cellor, who at that time was lord Audley, after many threatenings miles of was delivered: but the said Andrew Hewet, after long and cruel imprisonment, was condemned to death, and burned with John Frith. The examination of Hewet here followeth.
On the 20th day of the month of April, Andrew Hewet was Hewet brought before the chancellor of the bishop of London, where was before the objected against him, that he believed the sacrament of the altar, bishop. after the consecration, to be but a signification of the body of Christ, and that the host consecrated was not the very body of Christ. Now, forasmuch as this article seemed heinous unto them, they would do nothing in it without the consent of learned counsel: whereupon the bishop of London, associated with the bishops of Lincoln and Winchester, called him again before them ; where, it being demanded of him what he thought as touching the sacrament of the last supper ; he answered, “Even as John Frith doth.” Then said one of the bishops unto him, “Dost thou not believe that it is really the body of Christ, born of the Virgin Mary?” “So," saith he,“ do not not to be believe.” “Why not?" said the bishop. “Because,” said he, “ Christ commanded me not to give credit rashly unto all men, who really in say, “Behold, here is Christ, and there is Christ; for many false pro- ment. phets shall rise up, saith the Lord.''
Then certain of the bishops smiled at him ; and Stokesley, the bishop of London, said, “Why, Frith is a heretic, and already judged to be burned ; and except thou revoke thine opinion, thou shalt be burned also with him." "Truly,” saith he, “ I am content there
Christ believed to be